After several months attempting to self-publish, I hired someone to do the interior formatting and another person to do the cover. While some authors hire someone to also do the uploads, I wanted to do this and control something of the process.
Of course, my first attempts to upload the files failed. This is when I realized something.
Self-publishing is two paths. One for e-books and one for print. I had been trying to do the e-books and print at the same time.
To create a physical object in print means defining three dimensions using jargon that is meaningless to most people. With e-books, I seemed to be working in one dimension, a simpler process.
As an example, most self-publishing packages use their software to format the interior as an e-pub. With print, I must upload a file meaning I make too many decisions any of which can go wrong for no reason.
For the cover, an e-book only needs one picture and the self-publisher’s software places the cover where it needs to be. Print has a front and back side and a spine that requires fitting everything inside a template. In print, everything must be exactly exact.
So, I refocused. After all, the purpose of self-publishing is to publish something. And my genre mostly read e-books, anyway.
It did not take me long to overcome a few obstacles and upload and publish my e-book on two self-publishing platforms. I am now working on publishing on two other platforms. My confidence has recovered, somewhat. However, I have not abandoned the print.
While an e-book is what people buy (at least in fiction), a printed book is what authors want. It is something that can be touched, smelled, and felt.
I’ll get my book printed. For now, I have my e-book out and more versions are coming.